In Memoriam:
Vester Washington Vance (1933-2005)
Russell Kenneth Vance (1917-2006)
Waid Winston Vance (1923-2009)
Willie Doyle Vance (1926-2010)

About the Project
The goal of the Vance Y-DNA Project is to amass a body of genetic evidence that may be used in conjunction with traditional evidence to further Vance genealogy. Broadly, our goal is to use DNA to determine which Vance lineages are related to each other and to find clues that may help determine exactly how those lineages are related. We hope this project will provide the extra evidence needed to make progress in extending lineages that have previously stumped genealogists and in connecting lineages not previously known to be related. We hope to discover and sort out relationships between American, Irish, Scottish, and Germanic lineages, and to include the variant surnames Wentz, Vaus, and Vaux in our analysis when it is called for.

Though we keep the identity of project participants private, we make the results of our project publicly available so that all those interested in Vance genealogy may benefit. If you’d like to get in touch, please drop us a line at

The Administrators
Primary Administrator: Adam Bradford
Co-Administrator: James Vance Elliott

Who May Participate
Only men who are descended in a direct male line from men with the surnames Vance, Vans, Wentz, or their variants may be tested for our project. This is due to the nature of the Y chromosome, which is only passed from male to male. Those who would like to participate but who are not descended in a direct male line may still join by submitting the DNA of kin who are direct male descendants of their Vance ancestor. There are special circumstances under which we will accept participants who do not fit the above criteria.

Those who are unable to test, but who are interested in and supportive of the project, may wish to contribute financially. This money will be put towards Y-DNA tests and upgrades for potential participants who are deterred by the cost of testing. If you are interested in making a contribution, please contact us at

Which Testing Company Should I Test With?
The Vance Y-DNA Project is an independent project and will accept DNA results from any source. However, we use Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) as our primary testing company and encourage all those who wish to join the project to do so through FTDNA.

The most important consideration for us is that we be able to compare results consistently. That is not easily done when comparing results from different companies, because each testing company offers a slightly different product. We will accept results from other companies, but those who elect to test with another company should know that they will not be able to directly compare themselves on all the relevant markers, which in some cases may make it difficult to integrate their results into a thorough analysis.

Which Test Should I Order?
In its standard tests, FTDNA offers four panels of DNA markers, for a total of 67 markers. The minimum test required for participation in the DNA project is the first panel of 12 markers. This panel on its own can be excellent for ruling out relationships; however, in case of a match on 12 markers, an upgrade is often necessary to further confirm the relationship. For that reason, as long as cost is not a deterrent, we urge participants to order the 37 marker test initially, saving themselves the extra wait and expense of an upgrade.